Last Update: Thursday, May 16, 2013
|Former Manager of Van Nuys Branch of H&R Block Pleads Guilty to Defrauding IRS|
|Written by San Fernando Valley Sun|
|Thursday, 14 March 2013 05:21|
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A former manager of an H&R Block branch in Van Nuys has pled guilty to using the identities of former clients to file phony returns that generated fraudulent income tax refunds.
Damon Charles Dubose, 39, of North Hills pled guilty in Los Angeles Federal court on Tuesday, March 12, to one count each of wire fraud and filing false claims with the Internal Revenue Service, according to IRS spokeswoman Linda Lowery.
In documents filed with the court, Dubose acknowledged using his access to H&R Block records to obtain the personal identifying information of H&R Block tax preparation clients.
He then created false and unauthorized tax returns for at least a dozen individuals using their personal identifying information and submitted the returns to the IRS in order to generate fraudulent tax refunds of more than $48,000, according to his plea agreement.
Dubose admitted filing the returns so that the refunds would be accessible via H&R Block Emerald Cards, which he then used to cash out the fraudulent tax refunds.
According to the plea agreement, the wire fraud count stems from Dubose electronically transferring an unauthorized tax return from Van Nuys to Tennessee or West Virginia.
The false claim count stems from an unauthorized tax return filed by Dubose on Feb. 6, 2012, for an individual using fabricated information to falsely claim a refund in the amount of $4,353.
Dubose faces up to 25 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine when he is sentenced on July 8 by U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer. He must also pay full restitution to all victims of the fraud.
According to the Internal Revenue Service website, dishonest return preparers use a variety of methods to formulate fraudulent and illegal deductions for reducing taxable income.
These include, but are not limited to, the following: Preparing fraudulent Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business, claiming deductions for expenses that have not been paid by the taxpayer to offset Form 1099, Miscellaneous Income, or income earned from outside employment;
Including false and inflated itemized deductions on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, for:
• charitable contributions
• medical and dental expenses;
Claiming false Schedule E, Supplemental Income and Loss, losses;
• Claiming false dependents. Taxpayers are responsible for the accuracy of all entries made on their tax returns, which include related schedules, forms and supporting documentation.
This remains true whether the return is prepared by the taxpayer or by a return preparer. Be careful in selecting the tax professional who will prepare your return.
Some basic tips and guidelines to assist taxpayers in choosing a reputable tax professional include:
• Avoid return preparers who claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers;
• Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the amount of the refund.;
• Use a reputable tax professional that signs and enters a preparer tax identification number (PTIN) on your tax return and provides you with a copy for your records;
• Consider whether the individual or firm will be around to answer questions about the preparation of your tax return, months, even years, after the return has been filed;
• Never sign a blank tax form, and;
• Ask questions. Do you know anyone who has used the tax professional? Were they satisfied with the service they received?
• Again, Tax Evasion is a felony, punishable up to 5 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
The San Fernando Sun/El Sol contributed to this report.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 14 March 2013 07:07|